Dani Writes Reviews: ASTONISHED, by Beverly Donofrio

Dani Writes Words

When I was a student in Wilkes University’s Creative Writing MFA program, I had the great pleasure of working with Beverly Donofrio (Riding in Cars with Boys, Looking for Mary). As a mentor and a person, Bev is smart, insightful, unwaveringly honest, and spiritually generous. As a writer, she tends to exhibit these same qualities–and they have never been more apparent than in her latest work, the memoir Astonished: A Story of Evil, Blessings, Grace, and Solace (Viking Penguin, 2013).Astonished: A Story of Evil, Blessings, Grace, and Solace

Astonished begins with Beverly’s own rape, at the age of fifty-five, as a serial rapist holds a knife to her face. She is living in Mexico at the time, a successful writer, a first-time homeowner, and grandmother to a beautiful baby boy. In the months leading up to the rape, however, she has been feeling a troubling lack of spirituality in her life. A practicing…

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